Pune: Mitchell Marsh said he had hoped he had put a “smile on the faces” of his family with a stunning World Cup hundred that followed the death of his grandfather.
The all-rounder struck a blistering 177 not out, the third highest score by any Australian at a World Cup, during Saturday’s thrashing of Bangladesh in Pune.
That innings came after the 32-year-old had briefly left the semi-finalists’ squad to return home so he could be with his maternal grandfather Ross in the days before he died.
“I’m sure my nana (grandmother), mum and all the family will be watching at home, so hopefully it’s put a smile on their faces,” said Marsh. “My pop (grandfather) was a great man and a huge cricket supporter.
“Obviously, it’s been a challenging week for the family. It was nice to be able to perform for them and nice to get the win,” added Marsh, who shares the middle name of Ross with his brother Shaun, also an Australia international.
Watching back home in Perth, he was particularly taken by his teammates wearing black armbands during Australia’s win over England in Ahmedabad to mark his grandfather’s passing.
“Sitting with my grandma watching the boys wear black armbands (was special), little things that probably a lot of people think that go unnoticed on TV,” he said.
Marsh was also grateful for the support shown by Australia coach Andrew ‘Ronnie’ McDonald and captain Pat Cummins in allowing him to leave the squad before returning to India.
“The fact that ‘Ronnie’ and Patty allowed me to go back without questioning anything, putting our family first, it meant a lot to me,” he said.
Marsh added: “I felt really cared for and to go back into the World Cup was a big call, but now that we’ve qualified, it’s all worth it.
“My nana was very vocal about me coming straight back and getting stuck in. My pop certainly would have been as well.”
Australia now face South Africa in a Kolkata semi-final on Thursday, with Marsh keen to turn the tables following the five-time champions’ 134-run pool play defeat by the Proteas.
“I can’t wait for the semi-final, it’s going to be a ripper,” he said. “We’re bloody pumped to get to Kolkata.”